Sunday, June 1, 2014

Road Trip

My last day of the school year was Wednesday.  I go through the same thing every year in the last few weeks.  I stop believing that the end will ever actually arrive because it seems to stretch out into forever as the temperature in the classroom climbs and the kids get more and more anxious for the last day.  Then it does, and it's like I can't believe it for a few days.  It's a shift to get out of the "school" frame of mind and into the "summer" one.

My kids did not have school on Thursday, but they did have to go back for a full day on Friday.  I took this opportunity of a strange day off to take them to our local zoo to see the newly added penguins. 


Those penguins looked nice and cool, but man, we were we hot!  Afterwards we went to lunch at Panera and hit Target.  Yay air conditioning!

It was back to school for them the next day.  Me? I drove about 35 miles to a large "upscale" thrift store that I have been wanting to visit forever.  Wow!  I spent two and a half hours there and almost experienced sensory overload.  Four tops, two skirts, a jacket, and purse later and it was time to go. 

As I made my way back to town after the mother of all thrifting trips, I still didn't really feel like summer had begun yet.  And that's when it hit me.  Road trip.

My older brother is a singer/songwriter and was playing a show in southern Illinois.  I called my mom and asked her if we could drop off the kids to spend the night on the way down to watch him play.  Then I called my husband and told him.  He said yes immediately.  We almost never have the opportunity to do this kind of thing.  He had many questions, but I silenced him.  I would take care of it.  Just pick the kids up from school and get home as soon as you can, I told him. 

I packed a quick bag for the kids and for us, made a hotel reservation, (one king bed with a hot tub, uh, yes), and overfed the cats.  A quick trip to our neighbors to ask them to let our dogs out a few times was next. 

Off we went!  See those smiles on our faces?
I didn't tell my brother we were coming.  He was quite surprised when he saw us in the audience.

The restaurant/bar he played, Fat Patties, is known for its burgers.  Rightly so, I might add.


My husband did partake of the bison burger.  He said it was very good.  I have eaten buffalo before, but I was satisfied with taking his word for it this time.
It bears mentioning this is a university town.  It has been a while since I had been in a college bar.  After several beers, I decided to take some pictures to commemorate the whimsy of the place.

Yes, that is a pink beaver on the door to the women's restroom.

Inside the restroom was one of the Three Wise Men.  How do I know?  He's telling women, "Do Not throw Rubbish inside the toilet bowl!"  If that's not sage advice, I don't know what is. 
I also loved this poster.

Who doesn't love Bigfoot?  Anybody who grew up watching him on The Six Million Dollar Man has a special affinity for him, I can tell you that. 
After the show we hit another bar with my brother.  Some time around one a.m., we all remembered we are old and left.  The next morning I was pleasantly surprised to remember how easy it is to get out of a hotel room when there are no children involved.  We made a quick trip to see my brother's new digs, Resurrection Mule Farm.

No, those are not mules.  These are the horses that also live there.  It was nice to finally get to see the new place he calls home. 

We headed for home, picked up the kids on the way, and came back to find two of our peony bushes blooming.  I'd been waiting for weeks for that to happen. Every morning I'd look out the window and hoping to see flowers but just seeing tight, round green spheres.   I guess I had started to believe that it wouldn't happen.  But it did.  Just like summer has finally happened.

As I unpacked I found myself thinking that there truly is no place like home, but sometimes a road trip is just what you need to change your frame of mind.

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